This review starts as a story. A story of me walking into the Hermès boutique and talking to an SA and telling her I was interested in a Kelly and wanted to look at a pair of shoes.
A story of her returning to tell me that she just got this Mini Evelyne in and I should check it out, and the end of the story being me texting Vlad, “if Bank of America calls, it’s not fraud, it’s me.” That is the condensed version of how I acquired this Hermès Evelyne TPM bag on a whim.
Table of Contents
- Usability + Functionality
- Quality + Construction
- Price + Value
- Staying Power
- Overall Rating
And now it is time for a review of this bag. Instead of drawing out the unboxing with you, I wanted to share how the Hermès Evelyne TPM stacks up in our bag review. I can tell you that many bags I slowly ease into my bag rotation, but when I purchased this bag, it quickly became one of the bags I was constantly reaching to grab and go.
While not the most sought-after design from the house of Hermès, the Evelyne is still highly covetable and one of the first bags many people start their H collections with. The shape is notable and recognizable as an Hermès bag instantly, down to the perforated H emblem on the front of the bag.
The Hermès Evelyne Bag was designed in 1978 by Evelyne Bertrand, who at the time was the head of the riding department for the brand. The initial design for the bag was to be a saddle bag meant as a carryall for horse groomers. Even the iconic perforations had a purpose: to allow airflow to dry the tools and were not meant to face forward; rather, they were intended as the back of the bag. At its start, the Evelyne wasn’t even shown with the other luxury bags. It was housed in the equestrian area of the store.
The backstory of the bag is important, as it explains the more casual aesthetic, which, if you know me by now, you know I adore. Years ago, I never considered this bag as one I would want, but there was something about the mini version that I just kind love, and when the bag was offered to me, I jumped at the chance.
This design is laid back, there’s a long shoulder strap that’s not adjustable (but you can change it out for different straps), and while the H in the center of the bag is recognizable, it isn’t overly in your face as it’s meant to flow with the bag. This is a true saddle bag, easy to carry, and looks easy in appearance.
Usability + Functionality
While I’ve always been a fan of the mini bag trend, even when it doesn’t entirely make sense to me from a functionality standpoint, I haven’t often found myself inclined to purchase a mini bag. It’s not out of a lack of want, but as I’ve gotten older, I find it harder to justify a bag that simply isn’t usable. This bag is small, but thankfully it is mighty.
The depth dimensions of this bag allow for your phone to fit inside, and though your phone fits, the bag still remains and looks like the mini bags that so many covet. This makes this bag instantly a favorite of mine because when I am out without my kids (and that’s important to note because I simply can’t carry this bag when my kids are with me because of the items I have to carry for them), this bag fits my necessities.
As I said earlier, my phone slides in perfectly, and then I can take my keys, a card case, lipgloss, hand sanitizer, and even a snack bar. When I look inside this little pouch bag, it appears like a Mary Poppins bag, far bigger than one would assume. However, you can not fit a water bottle, and with the climate I live in, I rarely leave my house without a water bottle. I, of course, knew it wouldn’t fit a water bottle, so that’s not the bag’s fault, but in usability, it does take it down a slight notch. When I say this bag fits your essentials, for me, it still leaves out a really important essential.
While you can change out the shoulder strap for an adjustable version, the strap this bag comes with may sit awkwardly long on your body. I am tall and not slim framed, but the strap still allows me to carry this nice bag crossbody. I could see it hanging long over the shoulder for some and hitting at a weird spot, so while you can change out the strap, it would only mean spending more money on a pricey tiny bag.
The snap closure is the last aspect I want to touch on here. It’s discreet, but it’s also rather pointless. With this being such a compact bag, having the top snap closure is nice aesthetically, but I don’t find it necessary. It also means if I have the snap closed, I need to open it to get in the bag to take my phone out or place it in, and even that aside, my hand doesn’t fit in without unlatching the snap closure. I leave this unsnapped more often than not, but I don’t always love how that looks.
Quality + Construction
This is where Hermès almost always wins because its leather is simply divine. I am sitting next to my bag as I write this, and I just picked up my bag to smell it, and it smells better than a new car. I find that harder to say about many bags; they don’t always have that beautiful leather smell upon unboxing them, but man, this bag smells delightful.
And that goes back to speak on the quality of the leather. This is Clemence leather: it’s smooshy, grained, and simply extraordinarily lovely. Hermès is known for its leathers, and this is no exception.
Every stitch of this bag is meticulous, the leather is delightful and thick, and the strap is as I’d expect, but I noticed an issue just now as I am examining this bag closely to review. Now I wouldn’t call this a big issue, but this goes back to quality control, and it’s a bummer to see an oversight that seems so silly.
I will note that I’ve carried this bag for weeks and didn’t notice it, probably because the black interior easily allowed this to trick my eyes and be hidden. Still, the ‘H’ perforation on the bag has 2 holes that were perforated but not fully punched through, so the leather circle is still in place.
I am certain I can remove them myself, as the puncture already happened, but I was shocked to find not one but two little pieces of leather still in place.
Is it a problem with the bag? No, this is something I can rectify myself and will do after I finish writing this. However, I would expect better quality control from Hermès. Someone should have noticed this bag before it was packed and fixed the punchouts.
Price + Value
Some may disagree with me here, but honestly, I think this bag is fairly priced not only for an Hermès bag but also in the current bag market. Prices continue to skyrocket across the board, and though this bag is small, it still fits your phone (!) and other daily necessities, which makes it quite usable. And the sticker price is under $2,000 (it goes over with tax, however).
An Hermès bag for $1,900 is a steal, especially compared to so many other bags right now. Honestly, when I was offered this bag, I didn’t think twice; I immediately said yes and didn’t even think I wanted it, but I am so glad I got it.
Vlad and I had a long discussion about this in the car yesterday: if you knew 10 years ago what you know now, would you change your past shopping habits?
The Evelyne used to be a very easy bag to get from Hermès; you could simply walk into the store, ask what colors they had in stock, and even buy one off Hermès online. Times have changed, and it’s tough to get any Hermès bag, Evelyne’s included, but mini bags are that much harder. The obsession with all things mini took over the entire bag world, and this especially shows with Hermès bags.
I can’t predict the future 10 years from now.
We might think a bag this tiny is ridiculous. Still, the fact that this is a beloved Hermès shape already proves the staying power exists. Because this bag can fit your maxi phone, I pushed it up an additional half a star because that will always remain important in longevity – after all, our bags are meant to serve a purpose.
This bag ranks high in our overall rankings and is a bag I quickly fell in love with. A couple of aspects in this mini form make the bag less usable in my book, but overall, I’ve been contently surprised at what this bag is capable of doing.
I keep pining for a Mini Kelly, which Vlad said I have zero use for, and while he is right, the heart wants what it wants, but if I am being honest with myself, this might have been one of my most sound purchases in years.
This bag doesn’t hurt my shoulder or weigh me down; it’s impeccably made with the best leather, fills my love for a luxury designer bag, and will work for years in my wardrobe.
The point being, if you’re offered one in-store, I’d say yes.
You can buy these on the secondhand market, typically at an upcharge.